Minutes from board meeting 11th May 2020

These minutes may have been minimally amended to remove commercial or personnel sensitive information.

Date of meeting: 4.30 p.m. Monday 11th May 2020

Present: Ian Bowyer, Pat Bray, Paul Corkill, Jonathan Roby, Jane Fairhurst, Dave Fairhurst, Ste Henderson, Alan Kehoe, Rhiannon Jones, Kath Godfrey

Apologies: Joe Taylor

Absent: Danny Halliday

Chair: Ian Bowyer

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:


Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 4 May 2020:Agreed
2Matters arising:Business rate on café. DF advised that he had spoken to Joe Taylor, who has been in touch with the Council regarding the issue of business rates on the café. AK advised he had been in contact with our accountants who confirmed that their work on our year end accounts is in progress.RJ advised A1 Drains had visited the site. Discussed under item 6. DF advised that he had spoken to Kelly and Adam to let them know that we will be asking them to advise the board on issues that may arise as we try to get the farm back open in line with the government’s “road map”.

3Box scheme:AK had previously circulated accounts for the last 4 weeks. KG confirmed that sales were down last week, possibly because of the bank holiday. Accounts show significant losses. KG proposed that, to help the financial viability of the box scheme, the shop be reopened for 2 hours per day, from 12.00-2.00pm.KG said shop would need to take £300-£350 per week to break even. AK felt this estimate was on the low side.KG ran through staff safety arrangements that would be enforced if the shop is opened, and signage on site was discussed to help maintain biosecurity on the general site if the public are to be allowed back on site. JR suggested signage on the entrance to say that the shop is now open. KG agreed.It was agreed that 2 weeks was sufficient time to assess whether opening the shop would improve the overall financial performance of the box scheme and it was agreed that the shop should be reopened on Monday 18th for a trial period of 2 weeks only, with a decision to continue beyond that time dependent on a review of financial performance.KG to provide AK with daily till figures for the period between 12.00 and 2.00pm.

Financial Issues:AK provided a brief update. Staff to be paid 100% of wages, with casual staff  



4being paid what the farm have claimed under the furlough scheme. Crucially, we are continuing to be paid for the Care Farm by learners/funders.
5Planning ahead:DF asked how the different sections of the farm were managing their volunteers. RJ ran through her and Adam’s arrangements and that she maintains a register of volunteers for the animals, so she knows who has volunteered and when. RJ confirmed that she and Adam were short on volunteers and that she had been in touch with the Council to see if they could facilitate some volunteers for the farm. KG confirmed that she was keeping a register of volunteers helping the box scheme and that she could identify who had volunteered on each day.

6Other issues from the farm:PB updated the board on grant applications:We are still waiting to hear back on the grant application to Forever Manchester for about £5000 to support the box scheme. Due to hear on 15 May.PB is ready to submit an application for £25000 grant from Power to Change to support the café. Application to be registered on Tues 12th May. Two weeks turnround before we will hear outcome. Application made possible because of several days of voluntary effort by Mandy W-B to pull together all the information needed. Board asked PB to pass on our thanks to Mandy for her work on behalf of the Farm.RJ advised that A1 Drains had looked at farmyard with a view to giving us a quote for drainage of the farmyard. Agreed to await quote from A1 before going further.KG raised issue of electricity to Wareing shed, whether we could commit to that work now. Cost was over £7000 plus VAT. It was agreed that we needed to hold money for that in reserve for now. Agreed to commit to the Waring Shed electrification as soon as our finances allow.
7Date and time of next meeting4.30 pm Monday 18th May 2020
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